I don’t know about you, but when I moved into my first apartment the reality of what furniture costs knocked me off my feet. I know what you’re thinking “but you’re an interior designer?!”, the thing is that in design school they don’t want to drag your creativity down with the reality of things like budgets, so I just didn’t have a concept like everyone else of how expensive things are. I mean, I was already grappling with the fact that I was now in charge of paying all of my bills and the idea of having only gorgeous, all wood, sustainable, and locally made furniture was not worth it to me if all I could eat was Ramen Noodles for 5 years. If I’m really honest, I couldn’t afford to do it even if I was ok with the Ramen scenario.
I had to accept the reality; all I could afford was Ikea. If you find yourself in the same position then know that it’s not so bad and you also don’t need to feel so environmentally guilty about it like I did. Even though Ikea pieces have been deemed the “throw-away” furniture brand, I want you to know that it doesn’t have to be. I want to share ways that I’ve found to help your box assembly furniture last so that when you are ready to upgrade, you don’t just chuck them away, but instead utilize them in another way.
Build inexpensive furniture like you want it to last and it will (mostly). My first Ikea purchase was a set of Billy bookcases and they’ve moved with me from Maryland, to Boston, to Denver, and guess what, they’re still with me! My secret you ask….wood glue! I used it on every connecting surface and it has really done it’s job of keeping those thin particle board bookcases in great structural shape even after 5 different moves. The other thing I did with them was treat em’ right. Nothing beats tender love and care in any category of life or home.